Friday, December 30, 2016

This Girl of Mine

She's the prettiest.  

She's the smartest.

She's the funniest.

She's the sweetest.

I'm totally biased and I don't care.  She's the best daughter any mom could ever ask for and I don't deserve her.  She'll hate me for posting all these pics of her but she'll get over it, because like I said, she's the sweetest.  

I love her.

Some fun before, during and afters of her haircut.

She's so silly and funny, although she often 'suffers from embarrassment' (a phrase we've stolen from the Paddington movie) and hates when I post about her silly side.  Like I said, she'll forgive me. ;)

From a random good hair day when she was in a rare mood to let me take some photos.  I love them all and can't pick a favorite!


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Halloween 2016

This year for Halloween my girl knew exactly what she wanted to be and my boy had no idea and changed his mind about 100 times.  She wanted to be a mermaid.  Not just any mermaid as I found out when I bought what I thought was a pretty cute costume and brought it home.  She hated it.  She had found a very specific costume on Pinterest that could not be found in any actual store.  Thankfully Ebay had one though so I was able to get her the exact costume that she wanted.  Score!  Then I had to focus on the boy and getting him to make up his mind.  I can't even remember all the options we went through but we looked on Pinterest for ideas all the time and he just didn't like any of them.  Finally one day we stumbled across a claw machine costume that he said he liked and that was it.  I ran with it and told him he wasn't allowed to change his mind.  It isn't like you can go buy a claw machine costume though so my crafty side totally came out and we made it and it was amazing!  He even won the costume contest at Student Group at church.  I think it was my favorite costume of his ever besides his Lightning McQueen costume from when he was 2.  There's just something about homemade costumes that makes them more fun.  Another thing that made Halloween more fun this year was that their cousins were in town.  They got here just in time to go trick or treat with us at my mom's house.  My girl wanted to trick or treat with her friends this year for the first time so we made her take photos with all of us and then drove her up to her friend's house where my husband hung out with the other dad.  She had a great time with her friends but said she really missed being with her family and she thinks she'll hang with us next year.  How sweet!  I'm not sure that will hold true but it was still nice to hear. :)  

We had a lot of fun with the mermaid makeup!  I think that was part of the appeal.  I even let her wear my fake eyelashes.  Why not go all out for just one night of the year?!

The Claw!  He got so many compliments on his costume.  Everyone loved it!

All the cousins, ready for candy.  My nephew's costume was a big hit as well.  They were hilarious walking around together.  My son couldn't carry his own bag very well because of how his arms were on the sides and my nephew couldn't see his own feet which made it hard to go up and down stairs and a lot of houses in that neighborhood are on stilts.  We got quite a few laughs watching them. :)

Adorable little Bat Girl.  It was her first time trick or treating and she loved it!

I love this picture.  He wanted me to take a pic of him holding Pablo the monkey's hand.  He ended up changing his costume about half way through the night because it was getting heavy lugging it around.  Luckily my nephew had an extra costume from last year with him so he was Kylo Ren.  It worked well since my niece and nephew were both Star Wars themed as well.

I decided to update the collage of costumes!  I love all these old pics.  She's grown so much and all of her costumes were adorable.  I personally like the angel, the cheerleader, Dorothy and the fox.

Love these too!  Definite favorites are Lightning McQueen and The Claw.  I also love his face in the Superman pic and I always loved that pirate costume.

I'm not sure how many more years my kids will be dressing up for Halloween, but I sure am enjoying it while they do!  

Double Digits!

My baby is double digits! I started this blog post way back on his actual birthday, and I am finally getting around to adding some photos and I can't believe how much older he looks already in just a few months since then. This year since it was a special double digit birthday I was trying to think of ways to make it extra special so we decided to have his party at the mini golf course. It was so much easier than having it at home I will admit, and overall it really didn't cost that much more either. Other than the fact that it was super hot that day I think it went really well but after the fact my boy admitted that he actually prefers having a party at home. Oh well, now we know for next year!

This boy brings so much joy to our lives and I am so thankful that he was born into our family. He's loving, kind, crazy, smart, affectionate, and tons of fun. Having a son is such a blessing and I don't take it lightly that we are raising a man and a future husband and father (Hopefully...he still says he's never getting married and never leaving home. He'll live with us til we die and then he'll move in with his sister. Love the plans of a 10 year old!). I love watching him grow and mature. He loves his family and he loves Jesus and I really couldn't ask for more.

Here are some photos of his birthday fun! Scroll to the end to read his annual birthday survey. So glad I started those!

My boy with some of his buddies.

He won!

His birthday was during the height of the Pokemon Go craze. I love how his Pikachu cake turned out! It was the tallest cake I've ever made. My girl helped out with making the head and tail.

His actual birthday was fun too with donuts for breakfast, a gift in the mail from Grandma and cheese curds for dinner!

The Birthday Survey

~How old are you? 10
~How does being 10 make you feel? Elderly
~What do you want to learn this year? How to be better at Minecraft
~What was the best thing about being 9? Being 9. It was just fun to be 9.
~What did you do for your birthday? I went to Congo River Golf and ate cake and played at the arcade there. What about on your actual birthday? I went to co-op. I ate donuts for breakfast. I had Wendy's large frosty for lunch. And I went to Culver's for dinner and got ice cream.
~What is your favorite color? Neon blue.
~What is your favorite food? Blue ice cream.
~Who is your favorite person? Shawna Peto.
~What grade are you in? 5th
~What is your favorite thing to do for school? Have recess.
~What is your favorite game to play? Silent touch. A game me and Ava made up.
~What do you like to do with Daddy? Go to the store. Like Target and stuff because he always lets me go to the Lego aisle.
~What do you like to do with Mommy? Give her hugs and kisses.
~What do you like to do with your sister? Play silent touch. What else? Death balloons. It's another made up game.

~What’s your favorite thing to do with the whole family? Have movie night.
~What’s your favorite store? Target. Wait, no, it's coming to me...I guess I like going to the toy store. Toys R Us.
~What’s your favorite place to eat? Kings Island. What? Because it has blue ice cream!
~What’s your favorite book? Fast Food. Really? Fine, would you rather me change it? Yes. I like Shhhhhhh!! (it's an uglydoll comic).
~What’s your favorite song? The one I always like humming to. What is that? I forgot the name. Go ask Ava. We had to look it up, but it's Wake Me Up by Avicii.
~What’s your favorite thing about God? Everything. Can you be more specific? His love for the world. He loved it so much His son died on the cross.

~What do you want to do this year? Buy the Lego restaurant. Wait, that's not the name, I'll be right back. It's the Parisian Restaurant.
~What do you want to be when you grow up? Lego Master Builder.
Ava says I never asked him what his favorite animal is. I said it wasn't on the survey, so we decided to add it.
~What's your favorite animal? Penguin. Baby emperor penguin.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

1st Day of School ~ 2016 ~

It's Thanksgiving in 2 days so of course I'm just now blogging about the 1st day of school!  That sounds about right with how busy we are!  I remember when they were babies and toddlers I used to think that when they were big kids I'd get a break.  I was so wrong.  It's just a totally different kind of busy.  And it requires more brain power on my part too so for some reason that just seems to make it more draining.  Now I can't just take them outside to play and put some random toys out and they'll keep themselves busy.  Now I have to plan social outings and be responsible for all of their schooling (homeschooling is hard work!) and they no longer are content to just take a walk with mom and play with toys.  Now they need friends, and games, and electronics (constantly trying to negotiate on time limits too) and they need to go to this event and this youth group thing and this co-op thing and school is hard now.  They have to think and write and math has fractions and decimals and word problems that take more than 2 steps and oh my gosh, the drama.  Sorry for that tangent, but yes, school started a while ago now and for all my complaining it's actually going quite well!  We still love homeschooling and the kids are busier than ever.  I cannot believe they are in 5th and 7th grade! 7th grade!  Just let that sink in.  I only have like 5 years left until my sweet girl will be graduating.  I can't even think about it right now.  It's insane.  

School this year consists of our homeschool co-op on Mondays where the kids take fun classes like Acrylic Art, Let's Vote!, Creative Dance and Ark Encounter.  It's momma's day off from teaching too so it's great for all of us.  My girl has discovered a love for dance and she's also taking a ballroom dance class on Saturdays.  I can't wait to see her recitals, both are coming up soon!  The rest of the week we do our homeschooling and they are both doing great.  They really are getting quite independent and that does make things easier for me.  We also pared down our classes this year and are focusing more on the basics.  I think last year we tried to cram a little too many extracurricular type subjects in and it ultimately just led to burnout and made our school days way too long.  I know all too well that high school is coming quickly so we are trying to enjoy our easier days and really get all of the fundamentals down before that time comes.  I'm so thankful to have lots of homeschool moms whose kids are just older than mine to go to for advice about things.  They've assured me I should not stress about high school quite yet, but enjoy these middle school years with time for field trips and reading for fun and time outdoors.   

I took some photos of the kids on their first day of school.  I remember that my girl was so not in the mood for photos and was acting the perfect part of a seventh grade girl that day.  I still got lots of good shots though and actually waiting to post them has made me appreciate them more.  Here are my favorites!  

He's got the smolder down. :)

She had been begging to dye her hair blue for the longest time and our sweet friend came over and helped me do it the day before these photos were taken.  It looked very cool and was a bunch of different shades of blue and purple.  It washed out so quickly though!  

She was really not in the mood for the 7 fingers shot.  And I really wanted a pic of the 2 of them together so they had to be ridiculous and all I got were silly ones.  Oh well, it's the real them!

By the end of our little shoot everyone was in a good mood.  I love this shot of her eyes!  They are such a pretty blue!

My favorite part of every first day of school post...the collages!  How cute was she?!

She's changed so much yet she's still the same. :)

Oh, my sweet boy, he was so little! I like seeing how his teeth have changed. 

He's looking so grown up too!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Summer Days

Although I felt like half of our summer was taken up with travelling, we were still able to cram in lots of fun days, and lots of lazy days.  It helps that we homeschool and I refused to start back to school at the beginning of August which is when the schools were starting around here. I'm old fashioned and we started the day after Labor Day, which is when we started when I was a kid.  We did a lot of the usual summer things like beach days (still kinda weird that that's our normal!), thunderstorm days spent in our jammies watching movies, and running errands, and just enjoying less stress without all of our normal school year commitments.  We made a summer bucket list at the beginning of the summer and while we didn't even come close to checking off everything, we did do a few fun things from the list like going to see Finding Dory, eating macarons, riding Cobra's Curse and painting my girl's desk.  We will have to make a list next summer and see if we can do any better!  I hardly took my big camera out at all this summer after our travels, so I'm really thankful for my iPhone even though I hate it at times because it's so addicting and I'm always threatening to get rid of it for an old school flip phone! I do appreciate the ease of taking photos when I'm out and about though.  I'm still figuring out how I'd deal with my Instagram addiction if I didn't have a smart phone.  Anyway, we had a pretty great summer and I took a bunch of photos to remember it by, so here you go! 

When we got back from Ohio, my little sister was in town to visit with my adorable niece.  We had some fun beach days with her.  She loved the sand!

She adores my girl and wants to do everything she does.  She was copying her and reading a book while my girl read a book.  And I just love that they are 9 years apart which is exactly how far apart my sisters and I are.  It is so fun to watch them together and think that was just how we were!

No, we didn't get a hamster, but we did pet sit for our friends while they were on vacation.  It was so fun having little Pinchki in our house for the week!  My kids both adored her, and I'm not gonna lie, I kinda liked her too.  Taking her picture was so hard because she's so twitchy and fast!  

Another beach day when we were chased away by storms.  I love the wind blowing her hair.

You could see a bunch of different rain clouds out over the water.  It was very cool. I took this panoramic shot and love how I got them all in one shot!

We went to this crazy art installation at Amalie Arena (where the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team plays) called The Beach.  It was basically millions of little plastic balls you could swim in and they made it look like a modern all white beach with a pier.  It was fun!

We spent an evening at the driving range brushing up on our swings.  We haven't gotten the kids back into lessons, but my boy is still a golf lover so maybe this spring we will.

My girl got some new reading glasses and she spent most of her free time this summer reading.  We both read the Miss Peregrine's book and so we went to the see the movie together with friends.  The book is always better though, and it was true of that story as well!  The bottom right photo is the first day of their homeschool co-op.  It did start in August, but we didn't officially start our school until after Labor Day.

I'm sad that summer is over but I'm glad we live in Florida where it is eternal summer!  I can enjoy my favorite season all year, but too bad we can't have no school all year!

Monday, October 24, 2016

A Few Days of Ohio Summer

While we were in town for summer camp we stayed a few days before and a few days after to visit with friends and family.  My girl always meets up with her old friend from kindergarten who she's managed to stay in touch with all this time.  And my boy, of course, tries to pack in as much time with his cousin as possible.  It's amazing they don't get on each other's nerves with so much togetherness, but they get along really well.  We got to see their cousins on my husband's side of the family too, including the ones who live in Texas and were in town the same time as we were.  I met up for lunch with one of my high school besties to see her sweet little girl and see her baby bump as she's expecting again.  I got to see my sweet little nieces and take their photos, and I did a couple other photo shoots while I was there including one with my cousin's little girl.  I met up for drinks with one dear friend and lunch with another, so I really do feel like I got to see almost everyone I wanted to in that short space of time that was jam packed!  Here are a few pics of our Ohio fun!  

When you try to get a pic of all the grandkids for your mom and the toddlers decide to hate life at that very moment and refuse to look at you.  Oh well!

They are all so cute!  They all get along too even though there are five years between the two oldest and four years between the next.

I love my niece's teeth.  I called her the little vampire that week.  I think she's lost more teeth now though, so I'll have to get new pics next time I see her.

Us Florida peeps aren't used to pool water that doesn't feel like bath water in summer.  It was way too cold for me!

My friend's toddler took a liking to my boy.  He was not a fan and it was so funny.

These two had a great time together at King's Island's water park!

All the cousins from the other side of the family.  We had a great day at King's Island with all of them.  My poor boy is totally outnumbered!

We met some friends at Panera on our morning out of town.  Some other friends also just happened to be there!  How fun!  I used to babysit them and her oldest and my boy are the same age so I needed a new photo of those two together.  They kept saying how my nephew was missing though because I used to babysit all three of them.

Road trip!  I took this on the way there but on the way back I didn't have my mom to help me drive so I wasn't taking pics.  We took 2 days to get home.  It was totally exhausting, but Ohio was fun!

I'm so glad we got to catch up with old friends and drive by all our old stomping grounds.  I miss Ohio sometimes, but spending time there in the summer is the perfect cure.  


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